Chic Baby-bump Makeover – How to be Pregnant and Chic | Meredith Ehler | Stylist| Makeup Artist | Sterling VA

 

IMG_7115

Meet Caity!  Pregnancy really agrees with her!  She is due next month with baby number 2!  Today she decided to treat herself to a pregnancy makeover with me. This is her “After” picture. My goal was that she would learn a few tips to make her beauty routine streamlined while she is pregnant. I wanted her to feel rejuvenated, refreshed and beautiful when she left!

IMG_7107

Here is Caity’s “Before” picture you can see how pretty she is with no makeup at all. She showed up in comfy clothes, with the plan that we would demo an easy way to dress up her every-day look.  I wanted to give Caity a fresh-faced look that made her feel pretty but not too made up.

I have a degree in fashion and was a fashion stylist for years. There are simple ways to put together outfits that are both comfortable and cute! You can see that Caity’s outfit is super comfy and stylish.

I used natural, earthy colors on her eyes, emphasizing liner on the top lid so that she looks more awake and vibrant. Having a slight curl in her hair makes her look just a bit more dressy, but it didn’t take much time at all. I finished her hair with a light coat of hairspray. The humidity in can be pretty intense this time of year.

Here in Sterling, outside Washington, DC, life moves quickly. It is hard to set aside time for yourself. Caity brought a few outfit ideas that would work for a night out with girlfriends, or a date night with her hubby. We chose this one because it is something she would wear even if she weren’t pregnant.

I am so proud of her for setting time aside for herself! Consider giving yourself or someone you know a pregnancy makeover as a gift!

Meredith

 

Top 5 Makeup Brush FAQ’s | Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Loudoun County, VA

katie and me agp 10.12.12.

 

Makeup brushes are the tools of my trade. I bet I have over 200! I have my faves that I use all the time and I have a few I wish I would not have bought. But whether I have spent a few dollars or splurged on a special brush, it is important that I take care of them with proper cleaning. I get asked all the time about how to take care of makeup brushes. Here are answers to the top 5 Makeup Brush Questions I get asked all the time.

brushes in brush belt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Why should I clean my makeup brushes?

When you use a dirty makeup brush you may notice that you are no longer getting the look you used to achieve. Each brush is constructed with a specific job in mind. some are to line an eye, some are to contour a cheek. if the brush is so loaded down with product that the shape has changed it won’t be able to do it’s job well. that means that you won’t get the result you are looking for.

Dirty brushes can’t apply product as well. If they are misshapen because they are filled with product, or if they are “wet” because they are laden with old concealer or foundation you won’t get the clean lines or soft edges that the brush is intended to create. Also, wet products like foundation and concealers can grow bacteria causing breakouts.

2 How do I know when it is time to wash my brushes?

If the makeup brush you bought is now unrecognizable, that is a good sign to wash your brush! Clients hire me to help them streamline and improve their daily beauty routine. I have them bring me the contents of their makeup bag. I often see brushes that were once slim and streamlined that are now fluffed up and fanned out like a peacock’s tail. When your blush brush is 3 times it’s original size that means it is so loaded with product that the bristles are now not able to hold their original shape. That means that washing out the product will most likely result in a slim shape again, allowing it to do it’s job well.

3 How should I clean my brushes?

I like to keep things simple and cost effective so while I love a good brush cleaner I like to keep it simple here is my latest brush cleaning routine.

Warm Water and Simple Dish Soap

I use warm water and simple dish soap to clean my brushes. I do not use soap with fragrance or anti-bacterial properties, so my soap it simple yet does the job well. I swish around the brush to remove the product. If stubborn product is still stuck to the brush I add a bit of soap to my hand and gently swish it around again. It’s important to rinse thoroughly but swiftly. brushes should not be immersed in water for long. water can get into the ferrule (the metal part of the brush that connects the bristles to the handle) and cause the bristles to become loose and shed. So i am swift with my rinsing. you can swish the brush around in a cup of warm water or hold each brush under the stream of water from your faucet, which is preferred because less water will make its way to the inside of the brush this way.

4 How often should I clean them?

It depends. If your brush looks “full of product” as I mentioned above then the brush won’t be able to do it’s job. If it’s visibly dirty with foundation or concealer then you risk bacteria growth. Dry products like eye shadow don’t grow bacteria but wet products like cream concealers or foundations will absolutely be prone to growing bacteria. That could lead to your skin breaking out. So those brushes should be cleaned more often, like once a week or twice a month.

5 What are your favorite makeup brushes?

I wrote an article for Posh Seven Magazine listing some of my favorite makeup brushes. Click the link below to read about them:

Top 5 Makeup Brushes Article in Posh Seven Magazine

Meredith

Photo credit: Angela Goodhart of Goodhart Photography

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Decor Article in the Loudoun Times Mirror | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Loudoun County, Virginia

Here is my latest article on Christmas Decor. I reveal a few secrets that I have not revealed before! Click here to read the article:

Meredith Ehler in the Loudoun Times Mirror

Party-Book-Dollhouse-2014-14 -sm

It is a blessing to live in Loudoun County Virginia. It’s a beautiful place filled with wonderful communities. I wouldn’t be able to be successful without the people that support me and my business. A special thanks to Karen Graham and Angela Goodhart who have blessed me so much!

Photo Credit: Angela Goodhart of Goodhart Photography.

Merry Christmas!!!

Meredith

 

Must-See Christmas Decor | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Loudoun County, Virginia

I LIVE to decorate for Christmas. I start decorating for Christmas each year early in November. I usually host Thanksgiving at my home and everyone who comes knows to expect the house to be half-decorated for Christmas. #SorryThanksgiving

I thought I would take you on a virtual tour of my home hoping that you may be inspired to add something new to your holiday decor. Perhaps you will be inspired to use a new color scheme or you may find a different way of using your current decor items. I hope you find joy in the spirit in which I decorate. My goal is to envelop my home in whimsy and beauty so that everyone may feel our joy over the birth of our Savior.

I have 3 trees, each with a different personality. My main tree is 12 feet and covered in luscious, salmon-colored fabric and Christopher Radko ornaments. My goal is that eventually I will collect enough ornaments that it will be difficult to see any green from the tree!

Party-Book-Dollhouse-2014-43 -sm

My dining room is dark and laden in icy silver. When you are in this room it feels like you are in an enchanted icy-forest. Every time my girlfriend Lisa comes over she says this room is her favorite. The tree-topper is made of feathers and the garland is a creation of mine. It is made of recycled, spray-painted packing paper.

Xmas2014-7 -sm

My third tree is in my sunroom. That tree is slim and holds all my girly ornaments. There are a lot of sparkly cupcakes, a few Mackenzie-Childs ornaments, even a few poodles can be found hanging on the tree.  My favorite may be the homemade candy cane ornament my daughter made and studded with Swarovski crystals when she was in elementary school.

Party-Book-Dollhouse-2014-4 -sm

My banister is covered in traditional red and green with paper mache faces of a jolly Santa Claus. The ribbon is actually two different ribbons layered with the green ribbon being sewn in an intricate pattern.  It’s a wire-edged ribbon so it holds whatever shape I give it.

Party-Book-Dollhouse-2014-17 -sm

No matter what your decorating style or budget may be, I hope you will share your joy for Christmas with friends and loved-ones this season!  God bless you and Merry Christmas!

-Meredith

Photo Credit: Angela Goodhart, Goodhart Photography.

 

Fall Into Holiday Decor | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Sterling, Virginia

IMG_3274

 

Pumpkins on stoops, pumpkin spice latte’s, and pumpkin decor lining the aisles at Michaels.  It’s time.  It’s time to decorate for fall but it’s also time to start planning for your Christmas decor.  Michael’s, AC Moore, Kirklands and all of your supercenters are starting to shock the shelves with holiday decor.  Now is the time to plan and buy.  Here are a few tips to consider for buying holiday decor for any holiday:

 

IMG_3193

Buy Now – Return Later.  It’s better to buy now and buy a few of each item you may like. you can always return it later if you bought too many.  Sales are happening now, believe it or not!  I just bought 3 gilver (gilver=a color in between gold and silver) deer head ornaments at Hobby Lobby at 40% off!  I wish I would have bought more!  UGH!  I suggest decorating in clusters of 3 or 5 of one thing like pumpkins or candles.  So think about buying more than one of each item so that you can get home and create a well-balanced vignette.

IMG_3296

Use Household Items in your Decor.  I have table linens and plates that have fall coloring so I pull them out and incorporate them into my vignettes.  I have a large platter with a turkey in fall colors from my husband’s grandmother.  I use it as the base of my centerpiece. Look around your house and see if you have items in holiday colors. I have a black silk scarf that I use as a table runner under a Halloween centerpiece.

IMG_3259

Start Researching Christmas Decor Ideas on Pinterest.  Get your idea juices flowing by perusing Pinterest.  Search on the holiday you are decorating for and get ideas.  This is a great thing to do before you go shopping.  Make your list from the pictures you see then go and shop for the items so you can create it yourself.  Follow me on Pinterest for holiday decor inspiration!  I would LOVE to see your boards as well!

Happy Decorating!

-Meredith

 

 

 

Wanna Be On TV? DIY Network TV Show is Casting Now! | Meredith Ehler | Life Style Expert | Washington, DC

Meredith Ehler Posh Headshot

Wanna be on TV?  Well here is your chance! The next reality TV star may be right here in Washington, D.C. – YOU!  I was recently contacted by the casting producer of a TV show and she asked me to share this amazing opportunity with my readers.  One of my FAVORITE TV channels DIY Network is looking for families to feature on their TV show “I Want That”. They are now casting for their seventh season right here Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It’s easy to apply, just see the information below and submit your own family to be considered!

Most families get to keep the items they are demonstrating – we LOVE free stuff!

Good luck and tell them Meredith Ehler sent you. Make sure to include my last name because the producer is also named Meredith! I hope to see you on TV!

________________________________________________________________________

Want to be on TV?   Fog Edge Media (www.fogedgemedia.com) is now casting (real homeowners) for Season Seven of the DIY Network series – I Want That!

What is ‘I Want That’?

I Want That is a continuing series airing on the DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com). The show features real homeowners using new products for the home and garden.

Who are we looking for?

I Want That is seeking enthusiastic, camera-ready homeowners who would enjoy trying out cool tools, the new products, and cutting edge gadgets and appliances for the home and garden, and then talking about that product on camera.

Where do you film?

We film in the Washington/Maryland/Virginia metro area.

I’m interested! Now what do I do?

Please send us a little bit of information about yourself. To apply, send an email to IWTCasting@gmail.com and please include ALL of the following:

1) Your contact information. Please include your home address.

2) Pictures of your home including exterior pictures of your front and back yard; pictures of your kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedrooms, garage, and workbench if you have one. Please include at least 1 picture of you and your family.

3) Put your family name and city of residence in your email subject line.

For example: The Brown Family – Rockville MD.

To see this posting on line – follow this link to the DIY website:

http://www.diynetwork.com/about-us/new-diy-series-casting-in-washington-dc/index.html

What happens after I apply?

Once you’ve sent your application to IWTCasting@gmail.com we will add your information to our database.  Our Casting Producer (Meredith) will contact you when we find a product that fits your home.  At that time, Meredith can answer all your questions and schedule a shoot date.

What is expected of me?

We film three (3) product demonstrations in one full day and, almost always, the homeowners will get to keep the products they demonstrate.  We are happy to give you lots more information after application. For more information on I Want That – visit www.diynetwork.com.

_________________________________________________________________________

-Meredith

Christmas Decorating Ideas – Add Glitter | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Loudoun County, Virginia

Almost done decorating!   It’s so much fun to enjoy the lights, glitter, and amazing colors of the season.  This year I decided that some of my decor needed a bit of glitter to freshen it up.  I will walk you through glittering your decor.

I have had these potted flowers for years, adding glitter to half of the stripes makes the flowers pop!

IMG_9296 IMG_9295

Take a look at your decor and see what you can add some bling to.  Here on this sign, I paint on craft glue and sprinkle glitter over the glue.

IMG_9220

IMG_9240

I use cheap paint brushes, but I use expensive glitter to get the best results.  I recommend the Martha Stewart glitter from Michaels. The quality and shimmer is unsurpassed!

IMG_9171

Mod Podge makes a great glue.  It is also a sealant to seal in anything you are crafting. But when glittering I use it as a glue.  Here you can see I glittered some balls I have that were boring in their natural state.  I sprinkled glitter on a plate and rolled the ball on the plate after i painted it with Mod Podge.  The pinecone was glittered with the same process: Mod Podge painted on the areas I wanted glitter to stick, sprinkle glitter over a plate, let dry.

IMG_9155

IMG_9184

Here you can see my daughter glittering old lightbulbs.  She paints the bulb, sprinkles the glitter over a piece of parchment paper, then slides the excess glitter back into the bottle by folding the paper in half.  We are able to save and reuse the glitter!

IMG_9176

The possibilities are endless!  We have craft parties too.  Invite a friend or two and let them in on the fun!  See my Facebook pagehttps://m.facebook.com/meredithehlerstyle for more tips, as well as follow me on Instagram @Meredith_Ehler or Twitter @MeredithEhler.  -Meredith

 

How To Set Your Thanksgiving Table | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Life Style Expert | Sterling, Virginia

table

Here is a step by step tutorial on how to set your table for Thanksgiving.  This is my table that I decorated today, November 24th, 2014, a few days before Thanksgiving.  Starting early means you can just focus on making the food or traveling to your destination on Thanksgiving Day.  Good luck and message me with any questions!

Like my Facebook Page “MeredithEhler.com” because I will be posting more tips there. Click on the Facebook icon to share it with friends…we all need a helping had during the holidays!

d

My table.  I added the two leaves that the table came with so that it is expanded to it’s longest length.  This is a linen table cloth on top, and a table pad on the bottom.

f

Here is what the pad looks like.  It adds a soft layer to the table.  I used 2 white, linen table cloths because I don’t have one that is long enough for the table when both leaves are in.

IMG_8974

Ironing your linens is a must!

xx

I added linen place-mats in a champagne color.  They have a subtle gold, metallic thread running through them.

x

I added my china, crystal and a few serving pieces.

IMG_8987

I added cloth napkins and silverware, but the table was looking a bit to monochromatic and a tad bit boring for my personality.  So I added gold chargers.  They are available at Pier One.

IMG_8992

And a runner.  This runner is a piece of fabric my mom bought me years ago and made a runner for me.  She just sewed the edges.  Super simple.  We got the fabric at Calico Corner years back.  I even throw it in the washing machine.

table 2

Getting closer.  Now I added a bit of color.  I dug through my drawers and found purple, tassel napkin rings.  And a few small vases to add fresh flowers to the day before.  I am setting the table a few days early so I am not buying the flowers just yet.

table 1

Now for a few Thanksgiving touches.  An antique turkey platter from England, hand made place cards that my daughter made when she was in elementary school, and a turkey at every seat.  The turkeys are from my collection given to me from my Aunt Joan.

IMG_9035

table

Now it feels like Thanksgiving.  Have fun setting your table.  There are no rules, well except for the fork on the left and the spoon on the right.  Other than that, have fun, make your table reflect your personality!  And many blessings to you and your family and friends!  Meredith

 

How-To Make A Christmas Bow | Meredith Ehler | Decorator | Sterling, Virginia

You can make your own bows!  It’s easy.  Choose a couple of yards of your favorite ribbon and follow my step-by-step instructions.  Save money by never buying another pre-made bow again!

IMG_4356

Start with a few yards of ribbon, preferable wire-edged, some wire and wire clippers.  You don’t have to use wire, but it is pretty easy, most can even be cut with scissors.  But you can tie it with anything you choose.  String or twisties from produce bags from the grocery store work very well.

IMG_4357

Start by making a large looped circle of the ribbon.  The larger the loop of ribbon, the larger your bow will be.  The more you loop the ribbon around, the more parts to the bow there will be.  I have looped this ribbon 3 times so each side will have 3 loops when they are opened up.

Pinch the middle of the ribbon loop and secure it with wire.

IMG_4358

Start to separate the ribbon loops.  If the ribbon is wire-edged it will hold the shape you put it in.

IMG_4359

You can make the loops straight or they can have a ruffled edge.

IMG_4375

You can stop here – that is officially a bow!  But for my purpose I am adding a long tail.

IMG_4376

I took the desired length of ribbon, folded it in half, and attached it to the center of the bow with wire.  I hid the wire within the folds of the ribbon fabric.

IMG_4383

Now my new bows hang from the sconces in my hall way.  I love how the white ribbon brightens up the display. -Meredith

 

 

Thanksgiving Centerpiece | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Northern Virginia

IMG_3304

***Welcome Pink Polka Dot Productions readers!!!  So happy your are here!!!***

Every table should have a decorative centerpiece for the holidays, and some may say every chandelier should be decorated as well, but that is a whole other blog post.  I personally have a table cloth and centerpiece on my kitchen table all year round.  It adds a nice, warm feeling to our kitchen.  A centerpiece best represents the season or holiday by being comprised of a melange of seasonal knick-knacks, natural items and blingy keepsakes.  Here is how you can do it yourself.

IMG_3301

This centerpiece is built upon my Thanksgiving turkey platter.  I began dressing the table with a harvest-feel table cloth.  As a runner I used a piece of fabric that I sewed the edges of so I could use it for decorative purposes.  Right now it’s a runner but it will soon be “ribbon” on my Christmas tree.

IMG_3311

To get started, choose a base like a platter, tray, or large plate.  Gather items like leaves, raffia twine, and turkeys or pumpkins that are bought from a craft store like Michael’s. Sometimes I use fresh leaves or pumpkins.  A great idea would be to add a few twigs from your yard into the display.  I would insert them straight into my centerpiece and allow them to cascade over the edge of the platter.

IMG_3299

Notice that the display has different elements and shapes throughout.  I try to balance shiny with matte, natural items with fake, textural with smooth, etc. Stay tuned for more. There are many more holiday posts to come!  Happy Decorating!  -Meredith